A neighbor couple is loud and garrulous, creating disturbance in the apartments we live in; what is the Islamic view of this behavior?

Question: In our building, we have a neighbor, whose wife is garrulous and he himself does not refrain from talking with the female neighbors and joking with them until their laughing becomes terribly loud, besides the disturbance they make in the corridors. What is the legal verdict of Islam on this bad behavior?

The answer: This is impermissible in Islam according to these Qur’anic verses: (…then be not soft in (your) speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease yearn; and speak a good word. And stay in your houses and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore).

Talkativeness and nonsense often revolve around backbiting, telling tales, and revealing secrets that often cause problems between spouses, families, and neighbors; and especially problematic is the mutual joking and laughing between non-mahram men and women.

Allah the Almighty says, (And say to My servants (that) they speak that which is best; surely the Satan sows dissensions among them)and (…and lower your voice; surely the most hateful of voices is braying of the asses).

From the recommendations of Prophet al-Khidhr (a.s.) to Prophet Moses (a.s.), Prophet Muhammad (S) quoted the following, ‘Do not be talkative and do not prattle, because talkativeness disgraces the Ulama’ and reveals the defects of silly people!’

Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Do not talk to people about everything you hear because it is stupidity.’

He also said, ‘A silence dressing you in dignity is better than a saying bringing you regret.’

What is the opinion of Islam about birth control?

Question: What is the opinion of Islam about birth control and stopping procreation? Some people in our family think that it is unlawful; therefore, they procreate in spite of their limited incomes, whereas others think that it is necessary to control birth though they are in a good economical state.

The answer: Basically, the Muslims should procreate and increase in number as it is understood from the Prophetic traditions. The Prophet (S) said, ‘Do you not know that I will be proud of you before nations on the Day of Resurrection even of miscarried fetuses…’ .

However, Islam has taken the different stages and circumstances of people into consideration. Economical conditions, narrow residences, difficulties of upbringing and educating, dangers of deviation from religion, and the problems of controlling people’s affairs in general are factors requiring birth control for some people, but they may not require other people to practice that.

This is understood from other traditions too. The Prophet (S) said, when predicting some things to take place in a time different from his time, ‘A time will come to people, in which the best of people will be… those of less children.30’

Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘There are three things that are among the worst of calamities: big family, dominance of debts, and chronic diseases.’

It is understood that a smaller family is better.

Imam Ali (a.s.) also said, ‘(having) few children is one of the two eases.’

We conclude that this matter (birth control) is permissible and is a personal decision according to the circumstances of a person himself. It is not possible to impose or not to impose the concept of birth control on someone except if it harms others seriously.

It is thus if there are no imperialist plans behind birth control; otherwise, not controlling birth is obligatory on condition that one can bring up and educate his children properly, lest they become an easy game for the imperialists as mostly happens.

source : For a Better Future

My wife used to be religious but became materialistic.what should I do?

Question: My wife used to always attend religious meetings, but now she is interested only in material pleasures. She always insists that we change the furniture or I buy her clothes and other things that are beyond my financial ability. I talk to her about contentment, which I assume she has learnt about in those religious meetings, but she pays no attention. Once, I discussed this problem with a faithful man, and he advised me to prevent her from going to those meetings justifying that these meetings have become, in our present time, meetings of displaying fashions or discussing the matters of this material world. I did, but she became more obstinate and began disputing with me and threatened that she would go out in spite of me. Now, my life is full of problems with this wife. Would you please advise me what to do?

The answer: Acknowledging the miserable reality is the first step in repairing it. What you have mentioned about the meetings that are clothed in religion hurts the heart of every protective believer, and at the head of these protective people are Muhammad (S) and his pure progeny (a.s.).

Really, some meetings not only do not educate our women, but they also destroy the efforts of education made by the sincere people. The Prophet (S) warned us when he said to his successor Imam Ali (a.s.), ‘O Ali, whoever obeys his wife, Allah will throw him into the Fire.’ Imam Ali (a.s.) asked, ‘What obedience?’ The Prophet (S) said, ‘He permits her to go to meetings, weddings, meetings of weepers, and to put on transparent clothes.28’

The solution I suggest comes through the following points (whether you follow all of them or some of them depends on your discretion in dealing with the problem and its concerns):

First, after explaining to her your wife’s state, allow a wise woman to befriend your wife and advise your wife from the wisdom she has received from her Lord.

Second, you can hold religious meetings in your house, if possible, and entrust your wife with some suitable responsibility that will occupy her and allow her to feel her personality. If it is not possible, you can take her to certain meetings after previously arranging with the preacher to choose a suitable subject. For example, let him talk about the saying of the Prophet (S), ‘There are three woman, who Allah frees from the torment of the grave and resurrects with Fatima az-Zahra’ (a.s.); a woman who is patient with the stinginess of her husband, a woman who is patient with the bad morals of her husband, and a woman who gives up her dowry to her husband.’

Third, you should follow calm ways to convince her, because the harms of anger, nervousness, and scolding are greater than their advantages. Perhaps a nice word, a nice gesture, a present, a smile, or a joke would treat many problems in a short amount of time.

Fourth, consider your financial ability and be realistic and sincere to the best of your abilities. If she wants a necessary thing and you are able to buy it for her, do so and do not be stingy for Allah grants kind people His expansive and lawful livelihood.

Fifth, you should try your best to improve your living conditions because remaining in poverty is something that religion does not accept.

Sixth, if these steps are of no use, you have to be patient and bear the problem until Allah determines what is best between you and your wife.

Seventh, if all of these attempts are useless, you would be better off threatening to divorce her, and then you can carry out a revocable divorce, because then you can return to her after she repents of her bad behaviors.

source: For a Better Future

I feel my wife neglects me now that we have a child.

Question: My wife used to take care of me (fifty percent of the time), but ever since she gave birth to our child, she pays all her attention to the child as if she does not see her husband is also in the house. I do not know how to deal with this situation without making her misunderstand that I may be jealous of my child.

The answer: This case results from a previous emotional void either in her father’s house or in your house. When her child was born, she tried to fill that void by excessive inclination towards him.

To repair the situation:

1. Bring her some books about the rights of the husband and marital relations or some cassettes containing lectures about this subject!

2. Do not resent and do not show her your anger at her action, but you should give her ample opportunity to return to her natural state!

3. Organize some time for both of you to talk and assure her of your love to her!

4. Let her see your love and attention for the child to make her feel that she is not the only one who loves the child!

5. Continue this behavior and do not give up because the fruits will not come to you immediately, especially if her emotional void is deep and old!

6. Send your friends’ wives to her to talk to her about her required legal duties towards her husband, without making her feel that they have come specifically to discuss this matter!

source: For a Better Future

My husband shows no interest in discussing things with me or listening to me and it makes me very unhappy; what should I do?

Question: I separated from my first husband because he was a drug addict, and for the past ten years, I have been married to a good man. He speaks little with me and pays more attention to his business. I wish we could sit together and discuss our interests, life affairs, educating our children, the news of the society and neighbors, or the like. Sometimes, I feel that I am full of speech but I do not find anyone beside me to whom I can talk. I tell my husband: please listen to me! He says: I have no time, and my mind is not ready to listen. Would you please suggest a solution to my problem?

The answer: Dear sister, you have to understand that people are different in their natures but they are similar in other aspects. Your good husband is different from you in some aspect, but this does not mean that he hates you or hates to listen to your speech. Some aspects are hereditary, others are related with the zodiacs, some are acquired since childhood, and others are acquired because of the surrounding environment and pressing difficulties that man faces due to political, economical, or social reasons. These difficulties afflict all people, but they cause some melancholy, others handicaps, others madness, others failure and deviation, and others great success – and this kind is found the least in people.

Dear sister, I suggest that you should try to talk with your other relatives, such as your parents, brothers, sisters, daughters, or your trusted neighbors. If you do not succeed, then you should accept the reality because satisfaction is a treasure that does not end, as mentioned in the Islamic traditions. It has also been mentioned that keeping silent and speaking little are better.

source: For a Better Future

What Is Islam’s View Concerning the Family?

1626495292_185b82cd64_zA detailed explanation regarding Islam’s perspective on marriage, family, and the general principles that govern familial relationships is beyond the scope of this letter. However, I will very briefly touch on some of the important topics.

Islam recognizes marriage as the fundamental building block in the formation and the preservation of society. In order to organize humankind into societies, the Hand of Creation has split the human species into two genders, implanting in each gender an instinctive gravitation toward the other. The lowest manifestation of this mutual gravitation is the presence of distinctive sexual organs in the two. It is this mutual gravitation that brings the two genders together to beget children.

Out of this union a child is born whose substance derives from both parents. Due to the intense affection the parents feel toward this creature, they endure the pains of child birth and the hardships involved in rearing it. These difficulties savored by the accompanying emotional pleasure only serve to strengthen the emotional bond between the parents and the child, and this in turn invigorates the parents to multiply their efforts in training their child. These parental emotions, in return, attach the child ever more strongly to his parents. Thus, the family is forged—the building block from which cities and nations are constructed.

It is obvious that in order to preserve the society, the instinctive sexual drive must be curbed. The way to achieve this is by confining each gender’s sexual gratification to its formal partner from the opposite gender. This will ensure that the father of every child is identified (the mother, of course, is not in need of such a measure, as her pregnancy is the clearest mark that she is the mother of the infant she is bearing). Without such a formal arrangement to curb the sexual gratification of the two genders, young adults would seldom agree to suffer the hardships of forming a family. Absence of formal families would lead to uncertainty in determining the real fathers of children born into the society.

This uncertainty will in turn weaken the emotional bond between the parents and the children, which is the fabric that holds the family together. In time, the prevalence of fornication in society—in addition to the numerous hygienic, social, and moral problems that such unrestrained sexual relations engender—will utterly destroy family affections, a fact already evident in countries where sexual relations are given free rein—a trend that threatens the survival of humankind. An article I read some years ago reported that annually three hundred thousand infants are born to single mothers in the United States as the result of promiscuous intercourse done in the heat of the moment and without prior engagement.

Hence, Islam forbids sexual gratification between the two genders outside the institution of marriage and makes the expenses of rearing the child a responsibility of the father as the child’s guardian. In addition, Islam prohibits marriage between family relations who have frequent contact with one another. Thus, it is considered incestuous for a man to marry his mother, sister, aunt, or niece. The following are other females whom a man is prohibited to marry: daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, stepdaughter (if he has had intercourse with the stepdaughter’s mother), sister-in-law (as long as her sister is married to the man in question), and women married to other men. The same rule applies to the relations-by-suckling.7

(All of the rules mentioned here are derived from the Qur’an and the tradition of the Noble Prophet and the Imams as recorded in books of hadith.)

Source: Islam and the Contemporary Man; written by Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai and translated by Dawud Sodagar

Do Men Have to Observe Any Special Kind of Hijab As Well?

hijabAlong with the topic of Hijab for women, there is also another discussion which is hardly ever mentioned and that is of the Hijab for men.

Although the term Hijab is used for the clothing of the Muslim man it is not the same style and type of ‘Hijab’ that women have been commanded to wear. For many reasons which Allah (SWT) in His infinite wisdom has laid out, women must cover their entire body from the eyes of those who are her non-Mahrams, and men too, to an extent must also observe this rule, which we briefly mention here.

From the Ahadith of the Prophet and the Holy Ahl Al-Bayt (peace be upon all of them), regarding the type of covering that men must observe including the impressibility of imitating the non-Muslims (Kuffar), and the various other conditions, we can draw this conclusion that the man too, just like the Woman must not wear clothing that is not appropriate, tight fitting, and those that show off his body.

Keeping this in mind, the Muslim man must not let his ego and desires get the best of him and in all instances, must not wear clothing that is referred to as “Shuhrah” or clothing that is not commonly worn which would make him stand out in a crowd. This clothing will obviously differ according to where a Muslim is living, thus for a Muslim living in the “West”, wearing the long Arab shirt outside on the streets may be classified as Shuhrah, but wearing the same in a Muslim gathering will be permitted.

It must also be mentioned that the term Hijab, in relation to men, does not have the same technical meaning as it does in reference to Women, since the human-nature of a man and woman are quite different, thus too are their ‘Hijab’. What must be pointed out is that the word Hijab simply means ‘covering’ and thus, men too must cover their bodies from the view of non- Mahram women.

We read the following rule in the Tawdhiul Masaa’il that; “It is haram for a woman to look at the body of a man, with the exception of his face and hands; and that it is haram for a woman to look at the body of a non-Mahram man – whether with the intention of lust or without it.

Thus, according to the late Ayatollah Khomeini, which has been mentioned above and can be found in both his ‘Tawdhiul Masaa’il” and “Tahrir Al-Wasilah”, we see that in the ruling of looking at the opposite sex, both men and women are counted as equal.

In a tradition mentioned in the book Mustadrak Al-Wasa’il, volume 2, page 558, there is a Hadith from the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his family), in which he stated that, “It is not allowed for women to look at men.”

In the same way that a man looking at a non-Mahram women will lead to corruption and evil in the society, so too a woman must not look at the body of a non-Mahram man. Insha-Allah, this is one of the first steps to prevent corruption and immorality from spreading throughout our societies.

It should be mentioned though that it is not Waajib for the man to completely cover his body as it is for the woman, but it is Haram for the woman to look at the body of a non-Mahram man. Thus, in order for women not to fall into this sin, it has been recommended by our ‘Ulama that men cover their entire body, and should refrain from wearing short-sleeve shirts, and clothing that shows off their bodies.

Source: Islamic ‘Hijab’ For Men; compiled and Translated by Saleem Bhimji

If a person helps to arrange a marriage, is he/she responsible for problems that happen in the marriage?

Question: I often hear from preachers that the person who arranges a marriage between a Muslim man and a Muslim woman will get a great reward. Once, I arranged a marriage between two young persons, and now whenever a quarrel occurs between them, they blame me because I was the cause of their marriage. This has made me refrain from attempting again in this concern. What do you think I should do?

The answer: The Prophet (S) has said, ‘He who marries his faithful brother to a woman who supports him and makes him feel happy and comfortable with her, Allah will marry him to a houri and will please him with the veracious ones of his relatives and brothers who love him and will make them pleased with him.’

Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said, ‘Whoever marries a bachelor (to a woman) will be among those whom Allah will look at on the Day of Resurrection.’

Islam has urged us to assist people in getting married. Islam does not urge anything unless it is to our advantage, giving us benefits in religion and rewards in the afterlife. But the approach to achieving this is important. The one who wants to arrange the marriage of two persons has to regard the qualities of the two persons and the extent to which they are near in ambitions and morals, and then he should tell them and their families that he is just an introducer. Then, those persons and their families must take the remaining steps. They should inquire accurately about each other and then agree on the details and conditions of marriage. The introducer has to tell them that he should not be blamed since it is the spouses and their families who make the final decision. He should tell them that a mediator does not know the unseen, and if he knew the unseen, he would prevent the quarrels of the spouses or would not prepare their marriage at all.

According to these points, you have to continue doing good to gain rewards in the afterlife. Do not let the justifications of the persons who are unable to deal with each other correctly prevent you from doing good. Actual blame should be on them and not on the one who has intended to do good and serve others.

What is the meaning of this verse “Men are the guardians of women”?

Question: What is the meaning of this verse “Men are the guardians of women? Many men take it as an excuse to impose unjust control on their women.

The answer: In managing the affairs of marital life, there must be one decision-maker; otherwise, the family will become divided and fall into parts. It is the same with companies, banks, and government departments. They have one head, who is called manager, minister, or president, to make decisions. This does not imply the permitting of despotism. A manager, a minister, or a president, in spite of his authority, has to consult with others and has to take counselors. Even the messenger of Allah (S), who is the most perfect one among all human beings, has been ordered by Allah to consult with others by saying, (…and consult with them in the affair; so when you have decided, then place your trust in Allah).

In this verse, you see two orders: one of consulting and the other of determining. In the first order, there is a plural pronoun (consult with them) whereas in the other order there is a singular pronoun. It is understood that a final decision must be made by one person, and no more; otherwise, disagreement will not be settled by one decision. As we have said, a decision must be made after consulting with persons of common benefit and common fate. This means that guardianship should be for a decision-maker.

Here, we discuss the following question: if guardianship is to be claimed by either the husband or the wife, which one of them is preferred?

Islam prefers the husband over the wife for the following reasons:

1. Man in most cases has a greater ability of administration, control over his nerves, courage, freedom in going out of home, dealing with people, and dealing with the affairs of life than a woman.

2. If a woman works outdoors, she will be – in most cases – an easy game for hunters.

3. Because the husband is the one who initially establishes the family and the wife is a newcomer to the family, man is worthier of making a decision on what he establishes. For example, if you establish a company and invite someone qualified to assist you in administrating the company, would you not keep the conclusive decisions to yourself though you may regard the position of the one you have invited as a partner with you in administration?

4. Because the husband undertakes the financial responsibility of the family, it is natural that guardianship is his right. This is clear in the Qur’anic verse (Men are the guardians of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property)

This matter, however, does not justify the unjust control of a man over his wife. Many men exploit their authorities to achieve personal benefits. This does not mean that this authority is wrong, but rather it is wrong when the authorized men misuse this authority selfishly to achieve their personal benefits.

If a keeper of a mosque or a Husayniyyah collects some money under the pretense of doing some religious projects, but he spends this money on his personal purposes, do we condemn the mosque, the Husayniyyah, and the religious projects or do we condemn that disloyal person?

When Islam gave this guardianship to man, it ordered him to be fair, honest, and wise. If man is not so, then the wrong lies in man himself and not in the verdict of guardianship.

I do not think that there is a woman who refuses to be the wife of a man who is bound by the conditions of guardianship and its Islamic principles.

We ask: can a husband authorize his wife with this guardianship?

The answer: Yes, he has the right to convey his right to his wife. Thus, Islam does not determine the despotism of men; rather, Islam organizes the administration of a happy marital life, and thus guardianship is a positive thing as long as the husband has positive qualities.

source:  For a Better Future

How can we solve the problem of poor relations with in-laws?

Question: The troubles between a wife and her husband’s relatives are among the problems that most often lead a marriage to divorce. It is seldom to find cordiality between a wife and her mother-in-law. My question is: how do you deal with this problem?

The answer: There are some points that must be obtained before the troubles begin.

1. Spouses, and their families as well, should have a good amount of comprehension, prudence, morals, and good faith, and this is what Islam emphasizes.

2. Spouses should try to keep away from the incentives of disagreement.

3. They should try to be independent in the abode and the domestic means.

4. They should refrain from spying on others in the family.

5. They should not reveal their secrets to others.

6. They should try to spread love among all by praising, thanking, and encouraging others.

However, if the problems begin, the following steps must be followed:

1. The problem must be belittled.

2. The problem must be limited only to the ones the problem relates to.

3. Others may give advice with lenient speech and smiles and some lectures about the afterlife, and they should avoid disputing. It would be better to mention some jokes to quiet the anger of the ones involved in the problem.

4. They should beware of suspecting and misunderstanding each other.

5. They should deal with the problem wisely and should humor the ones involved in the problem until the fire of the problem is extinguished.

Imam Ali (a.s.) says, ‘Humor people and you will enjoy their brotherhood. Meet them with smiles and joy and you will kill their spites